There has always been a lot of speculation that orthotics are bad for your feet in terms of making them weak. On a daily basis its something that people talk about. Athletes especially, worried that their performance will decline due to weakening muscle in the feet an legs with the use of orthotics.
Trying to explain to people that you actual get more intrinsic muscle activation with the use of orthotics, which can potentially cause and increase in strength is not easy.
Below are a few studies done to help back up these claims.
- Mayer et al (2007) showed an increase in calf muscle strength in the orthotic wearing group. The increase in calf muscle strength in the orthotic wearing group is consistent with the data in our study above; though I am unclear on an actual mechanism.
- Jung et al (2011) showed an increase in intrinsic muscle strength in the foot orthotic wearing group
- Our other study (2005) showed no weakness after 4 weeks of foot orthotic use (there was actually a statistically non-significant increase in strength)
So if you podiatrist does recommended you orthotics, you should not be worries about a loss in your foots muscle strength.